Proxima.9051 Posted February 10, 2021 Share Posted February 10, 2021 I am going to try to keep this as PG as possible, as the last time I criticized this game I was suspended.I’d like to start off by saying I love this franchise; playing GW1 during my formative years was an incredible experience, one that I still look back on fondly – and every once-in-a-while, I hop back on and am reminded of just how great a game it was (granted with some extremely dated feeling controls and graphics, but that’s part of the charm). My biggest gripe with this game is the narrative content. Not to belabor this point, but the writing (specifically the dialogue) is horrible beyond imagination. I don’t know what compelled the writers to try and insert a joke in virtually every other line, but the only thing worse than story-crippling bathos is story-crippling bathos employed via clinically unfunny humor.The characters are all equally either hateable or forgettable, save Taimi; she is the crème de la crème of cringe and the unlikable; to say I find her annoying would be an understatement.The plotting is fine – but not great; and plot is fairly irrelevant to narrative content anyway, since people come to that content for the characters and the relationships, not plot.None of this would be an issue if I could just skip the dialogue – but for some god-forsaken reason the developers chose to force you to listen to conversations (in much of the living world content you have to just suffer through minutes of this nauseating drivel with nothing to do but mess with your transmog or peruse the trading post (maybe they did this to try and force users to look at their real-money store in hopes that they would impulse-buy while waiting for something to actually do in the story instances)). The narrative content is a huge reason why I haven’t been able to fully dive into GW2. Wanting to do certain things (like unlock Skyscale) are a massive headache because I have to play through the entire season 4 of living worlds – that’s the issue, not actually doing the grindy stuff associated with it; because of this, I just put off doing these things or quit the game. The PvP content in this game is weird because it’s very close to being incredible, while also being frustrating and terrible. I don’t know how to properly analyze WvW. It’s a game-mode I find myself putting more and more time into, but also a game-mode that I feel like is criminally underdeveloped. I think the developers could learn a lot from playing games like warzone, pubg, fortnite, etc. Not in that they should copy those game modes entirely – but notice how early game with “nothing” to do is actually spent building up your load-out. Whereas in WvW, especially if you’re new and do not have the warclaw mount and gliding, when you first warp in, you can spend a lot of time just trying to get to an area where you can do something – only to then get ganked by a roaming team (which doesn’t feel good); not to mention, it takes time to get to tier 6 participation – and in those early hours (or days) the mode just seems pointless; it’s not until after you get the hang of the flow that it becomes fun (doing small missions to take camps solo or with a small team for towers is quite fun, and so are the large zerg-fests on offense or defense) – but those moments feel too distant from each other; there is just as much fun as there is boring down time simply trying to get to an area (even with the warclaw mount), in which, outside of travel, you are doing nothing (not great in a PvP experience).SPvP is pretty solid, definitely one of the better modes in the game – though, I do wish there were more officially supported random unranked queued content (10-man BGs, 2v2, 3v3); however, I also understand that the GW2 population may not be able to justify this – and this is just a desire for more content because I think the current content is quite good, albeit a bit stale. The best maps are the ones with secondary objectives, so figuring out a way to make map mechanics have more variance would be a good start as it wouldn’t require any shakeup to the 5v5 format. Events are a bit hit or miss for me – I like them, but I do not like that they are a requirement for certain things in the game (like unlocking mounts, etc). If I have to wait for a boss or event timer, that is abjectly bad game design. I have a life (counter to what you might think since I am writing this novel of a complaint that maybe two people will read), and having to plan my life around an event timer does not feel good. Missing an event because I had to do something is frustrating; carving out time to do some fractals or strikes or whatever with your friends and guild is one thing – but having to look up an event timer, and mark some time to get in on it is another. Lastly, and to end on a semi-positive note – the things this game does well are mounts, making map exploration feel meaningful, and combat. I said semi-positive, as these all come with caveats. I think mounts are something almost everyone unanimously agrees GW2 does better than any other game in the market currently. However, what is not particularly good is how you unlock some of them (the way you unlock the critical mounts is fine); I think doing quest chains is fun (getting the last tier of the skimmer mastery was pretty good – either the event timers were really tight or I got insanely lucky because I was able to do all of it in one sitting and it actually felt fun), but locking them behind events is really poor design (as I mentioned earlier) and having to grind out x baubles (like getting a certain number of currency or what have you) is also bad game design. Your focus should be on respecting the player’s time, not forcing them to play your game doing extremely boring and repetitive tasks (or just simply waiting in an area doing nothing); players have limited time, if your game loop is fun (and I believe there is an amazing game loop somewhere in GW2), people will play it, you don’t need to artificially inflate how long people play your game. For good repeatable content focus on end game loops: PvP, scaling dungeons (look at WoW’s mythic plus model, it is solid but could be improved), and raids – not everything needs to waste a player’s time. Map exploration in this game is fun. I like collecting all the nodes and doing the heart quests, etc. However, what is not great is that the vanilla content trains you to complete 100% of your map, however, in Path of Fire and Heart of Thrones, areas of the map are gated by mastery point requirements – this is a very minor complaint, but it is jarring. The objective went from being clear: “oh, there’s a vista, I can get it by solving a jumping puzzle.” To: “oh, there’s a vista, I don’t know if I have the right combination of mounts and mount masteries to unlock it – I guess I need to minimize GW2 and look it up on the internet.” – that last part being particularly annoying. I have three monitors. In WoW I can just move my cursor off the screen and access my browser without minimizing the game, in GW2, I have to minimize the game, which is insanely annoying especially considering how much of a requirement the internet is to get through the game (again, really bad design; if your game incentives players to consult google or youtube, you’ve done something horribly wrong).And finally, combat. Combat is quite solid; I like making builds in this game, and I really like the fact that there are so few buttons. However, the game is a far-cry from what made GW1 so much fun. In GW1 you had many, many skills in the game that you could try out (you dual classed which was awesome (as it gave you access to a deep variety of skills and playstyles)) and getting them was an enjoyable process. GW1 felt like the spiritual successor to MTG (which is another game that has degraded severely over time). This game does not promote a lot of build variance because there just aren’t enough skills in the game – this also holds it back from making the combat feel fresh and exciting over long periods of time. Understandably, there is only so much you can do, but there could be some effort to get secondary weapon skills – so a weapon could have n number of skills associated with it, but you only take 3 or 2 or 5 – whatever the subset restriction requirement is for that weapon (two-handed, main-hand, off-hand, etc). Also, GW2 doesn’t really feel like a team-building game. Team composition doesn’t feel as interesting as it did in GW1 – I remember trying out stuff and coming up with build combinations with my guild in GW1, and discovering new and broken stuff was exciting – this is really more of a problem with how modern gaming is now, since communities are so big and efficient it’s very easy to go look up whatever it is you’re supposed to run and be confident it is the best possible build you could be running. Theory-crafting really isn’t something the player does anymore, but with GW2, it’s even less likely because there really is only a finite number of ways to run your character (I’m aware gear and runes can have some impact, but it doesn’t really affect how you play – which is an important distinction). End of Dragons is coming soon-ish, and it is my hope that this expansion breathes new life back into this game, as it certainly feels like a last-ditch effort to save the game. News of a new expansion made me come back to GW2, and when it launches, I expect more returning players – however, if new players come, there are aspects about this game that will drive them away and never return. I know this game can be great, but they do not. They don’t have the history with the legacy of this franchise, so when they come and play and see that a lot of the game is half-baked, the narrative is hate-inducing, and the game itself gets in the way of the player having fun, they’ll just leave and play something else like WoW or FF14. End of Dragons needs more than the same stuff we got with Path of Fire. It needs to be revolutionary in some ways – however, I sincerely doubt it. The expansion was announced in a somewhat unexpected fashion, the teaser was very uninspired and poorly done (no one who isn’t an uber fan will get excited over this), and there is still very little news about it, despite there being a 2021 release window. Think about WoW – and you should as they do many things right – WoW announces their expansions early, detailing the features that will be coming out; they get players excited, they do semi-open betas, and they accept and engage with player feedback (absolutely critical); it’s why Shadowlands was a success and why BFA was a failure. What do we know about End of Dragons? A community event? A new map (which may just be two areas)? A new elite spec maybe? These things are not fundamental enough – and they are almost all speculative. If they add new elite specializations, players should absolutely be able to dual elite spec. New maps need to have new and interesting mechanics to engage with not just events and vistas and POIs; importantly, the new player experience and the end game content has to be focused on, but my gut tells me these will be forgotten. There may be a new race and a new mount – but these are band aids on a head wound.In short, I love this franchise, I want it to succeed, and hope it does, but history has not been kind to Arena Net, as its track record is resoundingly: almost-but-not-quite, in all aspects. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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